Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2020

Wadjemup Cup

Rottnest Island (Wadjemup) will celebrate NAIDOC Week 2020 with a range of events on the Island. 

This year NAIDOC Week runs from 8-15 November with the theme of “Always Was, Always Will Be” which recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.  

The highlight of the Island’s activities will be the hosting of the 14th annual Wadjemup Cup football carnival on the eve of NAIDOC Week on Saturday 7 November. 

More than 100 year eight and nine students from Clontarf academies across Western Australia will take part in the day of round-robin football matches. 

The Wadjemup Cup is a Clontarf initiative that has been held annually on the Island for more than a decade. Clontarf is a not-for-profit organisation that works to improve the education, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. 

The students, who are selected to take part in the competition based on several factors including school attendance, will also have the opportunity to learn more about the Aboriginal cultural history of Wadjemup. 

And this year the students will work in small teams to develop five ideas to rename one of RIA’s vessels (currently known as ‘Ranger 2’). The prospective names will be assessed by the Wadjemup Aboriginal Reference Group and RIA and a winner announced during a break in the carnival. 

Yarn bomb 
To set the tone for NAIDOC Week there will be a ‘yarn bomb’ (street art display) by a group of senior Noongar and other Aboriginal women from the Kookaburra Club installed outside the Visitor Centre and Settlement mall on Friday 6 November. 

Over the past three decades Kookaburra Club women from across the State have developed artworks that are significant to their culture and that reference their childhood experiences growing up on missions, camps and reserves. Island visitors, residents and RIA staff are invited to BYO their lunch and meet the artists at 12 noon on 6 November under the fig tree at the end of the Settlement mall. 

And as part of RIA’s partnership with the WA Museum, two films from the alwayswadjemup.com website will be played on the big screen in Yagan Square in the city. 

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each year to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This year’s NAIDOC Week was postponed from the original dates in July due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.